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Amid news stories of branch staff at financial institutions opening accounts without customer’s knowledge, regulatory agencies mandating carefully monitored product explanations, and a wealth of security and safety issues facing employees that deal with the general public, you have to ask yourself, how do I even know what’s going on in my branches.

Sure you’ve trained the frontline staff. They are supervised and managed by experienced and trained leaders. But when it comes down to that moment when it is just your employee and the customer, what REALLY happens.

For years financial institutions have used mystery shoppers (a.k.a. secret shoppers) to better understand how their staff interacts with customers. Is the experience positive? Is the sales staff effective? Did the new product training take hold? Are your people asking for the business or using the customer’s name?

Perhaps it is time for your institution to create self-testing programs designed to capture deeper issues that are plaguing the financial industry: Was there questionable sales practices used? Was there discrimination? Did staff members’ behavior risk accusations of UDAAP (Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts and Practices)?

Or perhaps something as simple as: Is more training needed to better present our new product information?

The bottom line is, the more you know, the better equipped you are to take preventative action before real problems arise and before questionable behavior comes to the public eye.

For more information on Informa Research Services' customer/member experience research, contact our staff at 800.848.0218 or email

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